ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild staff, including general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr, try to projects the first-round of the NHL draft each year to see which prospects might fall to Minnesota.
Most seasons, they can predict fairly accurately. Last year, Chuck Fletcher said he had the top 10 pretty well pegged. This year, with Minnesota holding the No. 7 overall pick, their highest since 2005, the predictions are a little tougher.
"This year, you could say the top 12, maybe 13, players on each team's list are fairly similar, but be in dramatically different order," Flahr said. "The names are the same probably. It's going to be an interesting draft. It can go in a lot of different directions."
Nail Yakupov is generally regarded as the top prospect available in Friday's first round, but a general consensus doesn't follow Yakupov. There's isn't much separating the next dozen players, any of whom coul...